Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Does the Lord KNOW Your Name?
“Jesus said to her, “Mary!”  (John 20:16 NKJV)
Mary Had been Healed
“Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.” (Mark 16:9 NKJV)
Mary knew what it was like to be demon-possessed and she knew what life was like now that those demons had been cast out.  She obviously loved the Lord.  I supposed her first attraction to Him had to do with her cleansing.  As far as I know that incident is not recorded for us.  But it must have been something she needed and wanted.  After her cleansing, she apparently was one of the women who ministered to the Lord in his travels.  And I suspect she began to love Him for what He was and not just for what He had done for her.  She was first at the tomb, the first to see the resurrected Lord and the first evangelist who told others that she had seen the risen Lord and she was the first evangelist who was not believed when she said she had seen the risen Lord.  Mark says, “Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.  She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept.  And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe (Mark 16:11 NKJV).”
Our Minds Are Often Closed to the Truth
When I was teaching in Iowa City, one of the Ph.D. students had a motto on his desk.  It said, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.”  I wonder how many spiritual blessings we miss because “our minds are already made up.”  Mary had come to the tomb expecting to find a body.  John 20 makes it clear that she didn’t find a body and so she assumed His body had been stolen.  And that is what she told Peter and James.  And they left believing what she had said.  John tells us, “Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed (Mary). For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead (John 20:8-9 NKJV).”  Peter and James left believing his body had been stolen even though the way the grave clothes were left in the tomb should have been sufficient to make them realize that these were some fairly fancy grave robbers since they took the body and left the clothes.  Later when Mary sees the Lord and tells them, Mark makes it clear that they still did not believe that the Lord had been raised from the dead.  The Lord rebukes the disciples for their unbelief.  We read,  “Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen (Mark 16:14 NKJV).” 
But Mary
After Peter and John leave the tomb in John 20, Mary lingers.  She seems determined to find the body and to give the Lord a proper burial.  Some think she had others with her because she tells the one she thinks is the gardener that she will “take Him away” if he will just tell her where He has been laid.  John only mentions her however.  How she would have been able to “take Him away” without help?  I do not know and there may have been others that lingered with her after the men had left.  I don’t think so, however, because she appears to be the only one to whom the Lord appeared.   It is her dedication and devotion that the Lord rewarded by appearing first to her. Mary loved the Lord and lingered at the tomb.  She saw someone she thought was the gardener until he spoke her name.  Mary.  What a joy it was for her to hear the voice of her Lord speak her name.  
The Blessing of Lingering
How often have we lingered at the empty tomb?  Mary was confused and discouraged.  That should not be our case if we are believers.  Lingering there should give us great encouragement and confidence in the future.  We might even hear Him say our names.  He knows the names of those who believe in Him.  Of that I am sure.  
I hope he knows the names of everyone reading this.  And I hope that you have personally experienced His presence as you have lingered (mentally, spiritually) around His empty tomb.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of February 6, 2022

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